Sis*Stars Unite. My Perspective of Ladies in Formation March 19, 2016

Photograph By Chefren Gray of Gray Matter Photography, Bridgeport, CT.

Sis*Stars. Colorful Women. Color~full Women. When I say colorful women, I mean the gradation of brown that encompasses our skin. We come in tones. Tones of brown, tones of sound, tones of energy and love. We are sienna and burnt umber with bright yellow head wraps. We are vanilla or coco brown with solid gold errythang! We are afros, locs, twists, buns, curls. Flower children and straight laced business women. Mostly we are human. If we see someone hurting our humanity will try to fix the situation. Skin color is not what makes that decision, empathy does. Black people need this country to tap into its empathy. No more unjust burials, create a balanced education system, make sure our history is respected and honored as a part of what sustained this country for hundreds of years. Our existence did not begin with slavery, nor will it end as such. Our pain has been a motivating force and we believe in higher powers where "reality" takes a back seat to faith. Faith moves mountains.

Colorful girls and women aren't depicted lovingly in mass media. The Women of Brewster Place loyalty, Celie and Nettie sisterhood, Gayle and Oprah support and laughter is not an image ingrained into our psyches. It is unfortunate that capitalism still motivates human connection, or the lack of connection. "Reality" is contrived and leaves many of us baffled. Many of us would not insist on being in abusive friendships. Friendship is supposed to be a place to escape abuse.

The image above is from a Ladies in Formation photo shoot (Photography by Chefren Gray of Gray Matter Photography) was initiated and planned by Sheree Baldwin. It was inspiring to see Beyoncé stand in formation with other sis*stars who essentially need the world to recognize injustice and remember that Black Lives Matter too. This image unifies us, we need that too. The hate in this world is swelling up beneath our feet and it is the unity among women that will keep us grounded.

Colorful women who love one another exist in large. We mend the others seams on a daily basis. Not to say that differences do not exist because they absolutely do but ours have become marketable. Ours have become sensationalized and it has not been proven profitable to show unity as a reality. When I walked up to The Margaret E. Morton Government Center downtown Bridgeport, CT, I heard my sis*stars saying, "there she is" and "this wouldn't have been complete without you"! I was welcomed with hugs, love and sincerity. Our hearts were full because we had a mission and gathered together to accomplish it. Non-perishable items were collected for the people of Flint, Michigan. There was depth in conversation, laughing, dancing and networking. That is what it was all about. Nobody left there feeling like it was over either. This was not a one day event. These women attend my shows and I have seen them support one another for years. We attend the same churches, go to yoga together, celebrate Black Wall Street and Juneteenth. This is a gathering of women who sit by bedsides, watch babies, call to check in, cook dinners for repast, pass you the tissue when you cry, laugh to keep you from crying, This is a community of women who empower one another and the men of our community came to support our cause too.

By my own definition, perfection is imperfect. If your good outweighs your bad then you are on the right track. There is so much good in the hearts of this picture. There is so much beauty in this formation. We are imperfect people with a grand vision and showing up for it is half the battle. Thank you Sheree Baldwin, for manifesting this vision. We are all obligated to keep this solidarity and create more greatness in our community. We are all obligated to keep how much Black Lives Matter at the forefront of our minds. We are all obligated to stand up for what we believe in and empower our people. We are obligated to learn and embrace the power of being a woman.

Photograph By Chefren Gray of Gray Matter Photography, Bridgeport, CT.

Links to Visit...

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Find Shanna Melton's newest publication titled "Unraveling My Thoughts on Click the link by visiting the Poetry Page on or click here.

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